CLIENT: Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Parks
Brief: To create a painting to be used on the website and signage at Fernhill Park and Gardens
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) acquired Fernhill Park and Gardens to develop the property as a Regional public park. Fernhill is a former substantial family residence with ancillary buildings on 34 hectares of land (gardens, parkland, woodland and agricultural land) just south of the Enniskerry Road at Stepaside, County Dublin. The estate gardens and an arboretum were established in the 1860’s, and extended towards the turn of the 19th century with the inclusion of a number of water features, rockeries and a collection of many unusual Rhododendron varieties.
The general design is said to have been strongly influenced by the Irish ‘naturalist’ gardener William Robinson (1838–1935), who spurred the movement that evolved into the English Cottage Garden style. The historic natural character of the site makes Fernhill Park & Gardens a unique public amenity and establishes it as a prime visitor attraction in close proximity to Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
After consultation, I decided to illustrate the Rhododendron ‘Fernhill Silver’, which had been given its name after it was discovered in the gardens at Fernhill. We felt that it represented the character of Fernhill.
The Gardens were officially opened in June 2018